Thursday, 16 June 2016

Implications of the reality of Mother in Heaven

(Continuing from: )

Our contemporary problems require recognition of our Mother in Heaven (wife of our Heavenly Father, literal Mother of us all in our pre-mortal lives as spirits) - who is concerned by the minute details of her childrens' lives - such matters are the crux of things.

Having recognised her reality we surely cannot, and should not, continue to ignore or reject her?

When Feminism asserted that The Personal is Political this was an attempt at total thought-control and subversion by the political (paternal) realm - henceforth nothing was to be exempted from regulation by feminist ideology. This constitutes a theft from the domain of Mother in Heaven; whose concern is not ideological but whose concern is a consequence of the fact that she loves us and wants the best for us.

When ideologies - or even religions, even Christianity - seek to regulate the minutiae of life according to ideas, laws, regulations and the like abstractions and generalisations - then this is a theft from the domain of Mother in Heaven; it is a subversion of love by principles.

(It is ironic, but in no way surprising, that feminism operates by imposing a tyranny of crushing, one-sided paternalism into the maternal realm. Unsurprising because Feminism is rooted in hatred of Motherhood.)

Once we know that Mother in Heaven is real (which knowledge comes from personal revelation) then we cannot rest until we know her (which is not the same as knowing-about her). That is what Mothers want.  Mothers want to stay in touch with their children.

The centuries, millennia, of neglect and rejection of Mother in Heaven is a great sorrow to her, and a constant source of loneliness to us. She does not at all want worship; there is nothing whatsoever here about setting-up as a rival deity to her beloved eternal husband God the Father. What she wants is something altogether different - less public, formal, aesthetic - much more direct, personal and homely.

Mother in Heaven is complementary with our Father. The Father cannot adequately substitute for the Mother. What is natural and proper and fully-wholesome and requisite from the Mother; is totalitarian dictatorship - an iron cage - emanating from the Father.   

A Man appreciates, sometimes even understands, a Woman. But he cannot be woman, he cannot think it. At the conceptual level his truth is one that is external; empathy but not identity. Therefore for a Man or a Woman the opposite sex is necessary for wholeness; necessary and not an optional enhancement; but absolutely required.

Organised religion is necessary; and it just-is innately patriarchal. (If not, to the extent it is not, it very rapidly dwindles to extinction - always and without exception.)

That is a clue - Mother in Heaven is necessary as part of our Christian religion but not as part of official discourse. So our relationship with Mother in Heaven cannot truly be a part of religious dogma, public worship and communal praise, rites, rituals, sacrifices or whatever else may be regarded as more or less necessary for God the Father. She is not far off, but just over the shoulder; merely a whispers length distant.  

In sum, Mother in Heaven does not want our worship; she wants to know, to help, to comfort, to nurture, to teach, to advise, to share our living and to be involved; day to day. Nothing is too small a matter, nothing too individual, everything is significant. She has billions of children - each one of us endlessly interesting, always important.

For her there is no Big Picture - but billions of infinitely detailed miniatures.


William Wildblood said...

Bruce, do you regard the Mother in Heaven as a created being, presumably the first, or an aspect of the Creator Himself? If the first option, and that I think is the only possibility, she is presumably the same as Sophia or Wisdom or whom it says in Proverbs "The Lord created me the first of his works long ago, before all else was made." So she is not God and not on the same hierarchical level as any of the Persons of the Trinity. So worthy of the greatest veneration but not worship like Mary who either is her or is her chief representative.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - Mother is Heaven is neither of the above: she and God the Father are eternal - and so are we - but they are unique in being eternally fully-divine.

We were eternally existant as primordial essences, intelligences or potential consciousness: either male or female (there are no Men, Angels or Gods that are not either male or female - ultimate reality is sexually differentiated).

And this separate origin is the basis for our self-consciousness and genuine agency or free will - i.e. we can act from ourselves because we are not *entirely* derived from our Heavenly parents.

But we became their spirit children, which set us onto the path toward the same divinity as they have (should we, from our agency, choose it).

Mother is Heaven is therefore on the same hierarchical level as God the Father, but is a separate and irreducible personage, and they are not aspects - 'God' is thus an irreducibly *dyadic* unity.

William Wildblood said...

Ah, thanks for explaining your position which I imagine is the Mormon one. I think you and I will have to part company on that! I would incline more to the conventional Christian view but who knows?

Nathaniel said...

William's comment reminds me of the Eden story of woman coming forth from man (e.g. man first). Would it be incompatible with Mormon/Christian theology for God to create a companion for Himself as His first act of creation, thereby creating the metaphysical primacy of sexual differentiation?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Nathanile - The short answer is no, that is not incompatible. I just don't believe it is true. I cannot speak for Mormons, but this kind of deep theological matter is always left to the individual to seek personal revelation and make a personal decision - this type of theology is not regarded as a matter for church discipline. Many or most Mormons - up until now - barely ever mention and perhaps don't much think about Mother in Heaven, although the doctrine is endorsed in standard works and at the highest level among General Authorities.

But, that was then: I am writing here from a personal conviction that her time has come - we need her now.

Anonymous said...

The most common understanding of the origins of the Heavenly Father in Mormonism is that he was once a mortal human being who lived, died, and was resurrected like his Son. The Heavenly Mother would have a similar history.

The idea of there being a real 'beginning' or point in time where men and women did not exist isn't intuitive to Mormon theology. The impulse is to see the pattern of human life as eternal.
- Carter Craft

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - Taken piecemeal Mormon theology seems bizarre and it is metaphysically utterly different from the mainstream. However, if the system is understood, it makes a coherent and very beautiful whole.

(Of course, whether a person regards Mormon theology as true depends upon personal revelation. There is a key role for personal revelation in Mormonism - far more than in any other type of Christianity. For example it is necessary to have a personal revelation - in response to prayer - of the validity of the main theological doctrines before baptism; also required is a revelation of the truth of the Book of Mormon, i.e. that the BoM is what it claims to be ie. a version of an ancient scripture recovered as stated; and that Joseph Smith was, as he claimed, a prophet of God.

Its main advantages over the Classical Christian theology (derived from Greek and Roman philosophy) are (in my view): 1. its understanding of agency/ free will as intrinsic to Man (and therefore not a derivative or gift of God - therefore a fact that God *must* work-with); 2. its understanding of Man and God (and Angels) of the same 'kind' - on a very long continuum - and therefore enabling a straightforward understanding of theosis/ divinization; and 3. (related to 1.) its framework for the explanation of some troubling aspects of evil and suffering in that, since God is *in* the universe (not vice versa), God does is not assumed positively to will absolutely everything that happens.

William Wildblood said...

Bruce, what you call personal revelation must be what I call intuition but the trouble with this is that it can just mean personal preference so one must be careful. Practically all cults start off with personal revelation, so called, (I'm not calling Mormonism a cult, by the way), and in all of them there's truth mixed up with falsehood.

1. I'm by no means an expert in Christian theology but surely free will is basic to that? Whether it's intrinsic or a gift amounts to the same thing, I'd have thought, if God created us. To me it's the whole point of man and the only way that love can be mutual and the creature grow up to be godlike itself which is the aim of this grand adventure of becoming.

2. Both Jesus and the OT (somewhere I forget where) says that we are gods and Jesus also says that we will do greater things than him. So if this got lost from mainstream Christianity it certainly forms part of the teachings of Christ. I would say we are gods because everything that God creates is part of himself, contains his spiritual being which is life itself, but it can only know itself to be such when it acquire self-consciousness, towards which, no doubt, the whole of the sub-human world of creation is moving.

3.Don't Christians understand the existence of evil as, macrocosmically, the result of the Fall of the angels, and, microcosmically, the potential consequence of free will? God gave some of his universal power to us in the form of free will, and our egotistic abuse of that causes evil. Matter itself and Nature have also become affected/corrupted. But without that potential we would remain automata which would be very dull for God! God could remove suffering but obeys his own laws and leaves it so that greater good may come, that being our growth into deeper spiritual understanding. There’s also, for believers in reincarnation like me, the question of karma. Mind you, who is to say that God doesn’t remove a lot of suffering anyway? How would we know?

So what I am saying is that I don't see how what you say above differs radically from a proper understanding of Christian teaching.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - Yes, these are vital aspects of Christianity.

What I am saying is that Mormon theology *explains* these better - more convincingly, more coherently, more simply, without mystification or complex abstract reasoning - than Mainstream theology.

Mormon theology itself differs radically because it has a different set of metaphysical assumptions - the actual theological content (the end result) is almost identical.

The superstructure of Mormon Christianity is not much different than the Mainstream; the substructure is very different.

Nancy said...

I have been feeling very strongly recently what you say; that Heavenly Mother's time has come, and we need her now. Thus much of what you say here resonates with me. And you have, in these words

"In sum, Mother in Heaven does not want our worship; she wants to know, to help, to comfort, to nurture, to teach, to advise, to share our living and to be involved; day to day. Nothing is too small a matter, nothing too individual, everything is significant. She has billions of children - each one of us endlessly interesting, always important.

For her there is no Big Picture - but billions of infinitely detailed miniatures."

described fairly well how I feel toward my own children and grandchildren. I want them to know how much I love them, and to derive strength from that knowledge. and I want to 'be' in their lives.

I do NOT understand your 8th paragraph. These words, specifically: "What is natural and proper and fully-wholesome and requisite from the Mother; is totalitarian dictatorship - an iron cage - emanating from the Father."

Could you please elaborate/clarify?

If our understanding and worship of God includes both the external, ritual, respect and obedience and reward, AND the more inner, intuitive and yearning-for-complete-union feelings that sometimes come, then I think we are indeed worshiping a complete, dyadic Father/Mother God.

As a practicing Mormon, I find myself very much wanting to know, AND know more about, Heavenly Mother.

Nathaniel said...

I think you are right to emphasize the importance of belief in a Mother in Heaven.

(For classical/traditional Christians, I think this idea is still very important, Mary is considered to become our Mother in Heaven through adoption by baptism and becoming brothers with Christ - and a Queen in Heaven - a perfect and loving advocate - it is in a literal sense different from what you believe and argue - but there are strong parallels and perhaps the same necessities).

Bruce Charlton said...

@Nancy - I think what that paragraph means is that there are some things which are good coming from our Mother but cannot be substituted-for by our Father. When a one sidedly Masculine religion intrusively focuses God's attention on every minute aspect of life it becomes something like a totalitarian dictatorship with the goal of thought-control. What is delicate and sustaining from our Mother would be heavy-handed from the Father. This is absolutely to be expected from the complementarity of the sexes - complementarity means that one can do what the other cannot, and the two fit together to make a whole. Either one has something missing - this comes out in parenting; but ultimately it reflects that the full and complete human person is a man and a women in eternal marriage.